The Bouncing Souls are busier than ever. This year they're putting on special sets of shows, showcasing all 8 of their albums over 4 nights in various cities around the world. At the same time, they're writing for a new album. Punknews interviewer Jason Epstein caught up with Pete Steinkopf and Bryan Kienlen at their How I Spent My Summer Vacation/Anchors Aweigh show in NYC to chat about songs from the past and plans for the future.
Tell me what it was like relearning and practicing so many songs that you rarely, if ever play live. Bryan: Itâs been really fun doing it. We did it first for all our shows in New Jerseyâ¦itâs like, we had to learn I think about 30 songs that weâd never played. But then once we kind of learned them allâ¦we know 'em now pretty good.
What cycle is this? Like, youâve done this [set of 4 album-focused shows] how many times before tonight? Bryan: We did Home For the Holidays, Chicago, Boston and this one.
And now youâre doing 4 more or so? Bryan: Yeah, a total of 8 weâre doing.
Pete: At first we were having these long-ass sound checks, doing every song like 3 times but now weâre like we know everything now. Not everything butâ
Bryan: And not necessarily well, butâ[laughter]
Do you think youâll be bringing any of these back more often to your regular sets? Bryan: Yeah, that was another good thing that came out of this is that we sort of re-discovered a bunch of songs like, Hey man we should play this all the time, so in a way weâve really broadened our standard headlining set for sure.
Has any music been written for a new record? Bryan: Yeah, yeah. Weâve got, letâs sayâ¦10 songs maybe?
Pete: Yeah, weâve got 10 and theyâll probably turn into 6 [full songs] and weâll write about 10 more and hopefully like ready to record in the fall sometime.
Bryan: Weâre roughly about halfway through writing for the new record.
Do you typically write way more songs than actually end up on the record? Bryan: No, historically we would like, put everything on the record. Now, weâre figuring out that we donât have to put 17 songs on the record. We can put like, 10 of the best ones on.
Is this going to be a regular release or are you going to do a song-by-song timetable like you did for Ghosts on the Boardwalk? Pete: That was a one time thing.
Bryan: That was a one time thing, yeah. Weâll kind of figure out how weâre going to do it. Itâll probably be more like a full record.
Just regular? How boring. [Laughter] Better make sure the songs are good. Pete: Well, this time itâs going to be like an album full of awesome songs with this ideaâ¦different ideas that all go together.
So give me an average day on tourâ¦you wake up and what happens? Bryan: Wake up, take a shower, head out to the truck.
Bryan: I know, itâs all very fun and glamorous.
Pete: Itâs really glamorous.
Bryan: Depending on the city that weâre waking up inâ¦there might be some level of hangover and [the need for] breakfastâ¦
That depends on the city? Pete: It depends on the city. Some cities are notorious for late nights.
Do you have a dream band to open up for? Bryan: Weâve been lucky to play with a lot of our heroes you know? Over the years. I donât know if I can think of another one. I donât know if I want to start goin' down that road, you know what I mean? Thinking of every great punk bandâ¦thatâs a long list.
Whatâs your most hated interview question? Pete: What are your influences?
Bryan: Whatâs your favorite song?
Pete: Whatâs your favorite anything? For some reason itâs hard to answer whatâs your favorite whatever CD, place youâve playedâ¦
Bryan: The other hard one that we get is tell us an interesting tour story. You go blank.
See, hereâs the opportunity where not only the interviewer brings notes to the interview, but you guys bring notes too and just rattle it off. [Laughter] I want to say is there anything else you want to say, but Iâm sure thatâs another one of those questions you hate to answer. Bryan: Yep, thatâs another one.
Pete: What do people say to that?
Youâre asking me? I donât know, I never asked it.